David Gregory’s manuscript ‘Isaaci Neutoni methodus fluxionum’ is the first systematic presentation of the method of fluxions written by somebody other than Newton. It was penned in 1694, when Gregory was the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford. I provide information about its content, sources and circulation. This short treatise reveals what Newton allowed to be known about his method in the mid-1690s. Further, it sheds light upon Gregory’s views on how Newton’s mathematical innovations related to the work of other mathematicians, both British and Continental. This paper demonstrates two things. First, it proves that Newton, far from being—as often stated—wholly isolated and reluctant to publish the method of fluxions, belonged to a network of mathematicians who were made aware of his discoveries. Second, it shows that Gregory—very much as other Scottish mathematicians such as George Cheyne and John Craig—received Newton’s fluxional method within a tradition that was independent from England and that, before getting in touch with Newton, had assimilated elements of the calculi developed on the Continent.

David Gregory's manuscript ‘Isaaci Neutoni Methodus fluxionum’ (1694): A study on the early publication of Newton's discoveries on calculus / N. Guicciardini. - In: NOTES AND RECORDS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. - ISSN 0035-9149. - (2021), pp. 1-24. [10.1098/rsnr.2021.0013]

David Gregory's manuscript ‘Isaaci Neutoni Methodus fluxionum’ (1694): A study on the early publication of Newton's discoveries on calculus

N. Guicciardini
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

David Gregory’s manuscript ‘Isaaci Neutoni methodus fluxionum’ is the first systematic presentation of the method of fluxions written by somebody other than Newton. It was penned in 1694, when Gregory was the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford. I provide information about its content, sources and circulation. This short treatise reveals what Newton allowed to be known about his method in the mid-1690s. Further, it sheds light upon Gregory’s views on how Newton’s mathematical innovations related to the work of other mathematicians, both British and Continental. This paper demonstrates two things. First, it proves that Newton, far from being—as often stated—wholly isolated and reluctant to publish the method of fluxions, belonged to a network of mathematicians who were made aware of his discoveries. Second, it shows that Gregory—very much as other Scottish mathematicians such as George Cheyne and John Craig—received Newton’s fluxional method within a tradition that was independent from England and that, before getting in touch with Newton, had assimilated elements of the calculi developed on the Continent.
David Gregory; Isaac Newton; fluxions; manuscript circulation
Settore M-STO/05 - Storia della Scienza e delle Tecniche
Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022 - Dipartimento di FILOSOFIA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/846385
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